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British test launch of ballistic missile fails

22 February 2024 [09:00] - TODAY.AZ

By Alimat Aliyeva

The British Navy conducted an unsuccessful test launch of the Trident II D5 ballistic missile from the repaired nuclear submarine HMS Vanguard, Azernews reports, citing foreign media outlets.

After the launch, the missile immediately deviated from the course and fell next to the submarine, on board of which was the Defense Minister of the United Kingdom Grant Shapps, and the first sea Lord (head of the Navy) Admiral Ben Key.

The incident occurred during a training mission in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of the U.S. state of Florida. Initially, it was assumed that the Trident II D5 would fly almost 6,000 km to hit a given point in the central Atlantic between Brazil and West Africa. As a result of the failed launch, a verification of the circumstances of the incident was initiated. In addition, the UK has launched a search operation to recover fragments of the missile from the seabed at Port Canaveral.

The Defense Ministry of the Kingdom confirmed that "an anomaly occurred" during the launch. "HMS Vanguard and its crew have demonstrated their full readiness to operate continuous maritime deterrents, having passed all the tests during the recent standard control and training launches necessary to confirm that the submarine can return to service after thorough repairs. The test confirmed the effectiveness of the UK's nuclear deterrence, which we are absolutely confident of. An anomaly occurred during the test. For reasons of national security, we cannot provide additional information on this topic," the ministry said in a statement.

The British Ministry of Defense expressed the opinion that "the anomaly was a specific phenomenon" that does not allow us to talk "about the consequences in the context of the reliability of Trident systems."

"The UK's nuclear deterrence remains safe and effective," the ministry added.


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